Friday, August 17, 2012

Underwater Croatia

Throughout the trip we made photos of the underwater life of Croatia. By that we mean all the sea creatures - fish, mammals, invertebrates and humans.

Croatia - we'll be back!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Croatia Return: Graz

Although we have spent marvelous 2 weeks in Croatia, our desire to see new places was never satisfied. And so, on our way back home <boo hoo> we stopped off at Graz - the second biggest city of Austria. Having done that, we put a fourth country on our list of visited countries during that holidays.

What can I say about Graz? It stood up to my expectations of Austrian city. Perfectly neat and clean, full of bikes, with charming façades - that's Graz. Unfortunately, we were a bit tired and didn't immerse the city properly. We also didn't take so many pictures, so I chose just a collection of them for you to have an idea of the place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Croatia Day 12: Crikvenica

That's it, our last day in Croatia. I felt a penetrating sadness that we must leave. I fell in love in Croatia - there's no doubt about that.
As our farewell to Croatia, we went to Crikvenica (15 km from Senj) which was, to be honest, not very attractive to me.

In the evning we went for a walk round Senj, to have a final goodbye with the sea, warm breezes, holiday carefree attitudes and the charm of Croatia.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Croatia Day 11: Zadar and Nin

Our Croatia trip was getting to the end so this was almost the last chance to see more of the country's beauty. This time we headed south, to Zadar (centre of Dalmatia) and Nin (the town with the smallest cathedral on Earth).

Zadar is an amazing place. Full of tourists and full of richmen on their spectacular, jaw-dropping yachts. The old part of the city is also magnificent, it looks really old, like from ancient Roman times.

As most of Croatian towns, Zadar also had a tower to climb. I consider tower-climbing as a must on a tourist's checklist.

Except for the view of red roofs, what was special in the city was the see organ. I've never seen or heard anything like that and I found it mesmerising! The waves press the water into the organ holes playing a tune of magical tone. It sounds strange, like a cacophony a bit, yet it made me want to stay there for hours (Radek needed to  hurry me because I didn't want to leave the place). I wonder if it's possible to get hypnotised by that sound. If you are interessted by my description, check out the YT video that shows the place.

In the end, I bowed to Radek and left the enchanting see organ and we drove to Nin. Nin is very small and not so swarmed by tourists. I liked that! We spent there lovely 3 hours, walking around and having a lunch.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Croatia Day 10: Ljubljana

We headed north from Senj to see Ljubljana - the capital city of Slovenia. We were lucky because we arrived in a perfect time to have a guided tour organised by the tourists office. Seeing places with a guide gives always a very different perspective than seeing them alone. One must devote more time to analyse everything, also the stories that are told enrich the memories of the places. That was also the case of Ljubljana.

The guided tour comprised of visiting the town hall, degustation of Slovenian national dishes in one of the posh restaurants in the city centre, a tour around the city with a guide and a cruise with a ship on the Ljubljanica river that cuts the city in two halves.

I really liked the ship ride on the river. The boat passed slowly, the reflexes from the water were everywhere and the angle made everything look different. We swam under all the bridges (there are so many of them and each has it's unique story and artefacts - example: shoemakers bridge has the shoes hanged over). 

After this lovely boat ride we went to a lovers bridge we had seen from the water. Many lovers come there to honour the tradition and close the padlock on the bridge barriers. Well, we limited ourselves just to a kiss.

Yes, I found the sculptures a la HR Giger art a bit distracting. Anyway, we continued our walk over the city and set off to the castle. On our way we passed by many bridges, monuments and buildings. The old part of Ljubljana is well kept so we took a lot of pretty pictures and enjoyed the walk.

 We passed by a colourful street installation - I found it ingenious and very cheerful.

The castle was pretty charming. There were ongoing preparations to some concert, we climbed the tower (the view was really nice - Alps on the one side, Ljubljana on the other), visited a museum, drank a coffee and headed to the centre for a glimpse of Ljubljana's night life.

Ljubljana at night surprised me in plus. It was amazing to see how many people went outside and chatted on the streets. All the bars, restaurants and cafes were full (we actually had problems to find a place to sit by the water). I'm not used to such situation and I like it every time I go abroad.  The city becomes vibrant, full of this specific character. It's a pity we had to get going to reach Senj at a proper hour and to get some sleep.